Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said if King Charles III wanted to continue to advocate for climate change action, in his new apolitical role as king, his decision would be perfectly acceptable.
Albanese was speaking ahead of the scheduled departure of the Australian delegation from Sydney on Thursday (15/9) for the funeral of the late Queen Elizabeth II.
Albanese said the new king would decide whether he would continue to advocate for the reductions in greenhouse gas emissions he had made during his years as a prince.
”It is very important that the monarchy distances itself from political party issues. But there are issues like climate change where, I think, if he chooses to continue making statements in that area, that’s acceptable,” Albanese told the Australian Broadcasting Corp.
“The need to act on climate change should not be a political issue,” Albanese added.
Albanese’s new centre-left Labor government has set in law a target to reduce Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions by 42 percent below 2005 levels by the end of the decade.
Under the previous conservative government, Australia has been labeled a laggard on climate action on its target of reducing emissions by just 26 per cent to 28 per cent by 2030.
The Albanese government wants an Australian president to replace the British monarch as Australia’s head of state.
But Albanese said holding a referendum to create an Australian republic was “unfit” in his first three-year term.
The priority is a referendum that would recognize in the constitution that indigenous peoples lived in Australia before British settlers arrived in 1788.
“Regardless of people’s views on constitutional issues and our system of government, I think it is impossible not to honor the extraordinary work and dedication shown by Her Majesty (Queen Elizabeth II),” Albanese said.
Albanese had arranged meetings with the king, British Prime Minister Liz Truss and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau over the weekend before the funeral. A referendum in 1999 that would have replaced the queen with Australia’s head of state failed. [ab/uh]